According to the Notice on the Decision of the Ministry of Education on Approving the 2018 Award-Winning Projects of the National Teaching Achievement Awards (Jiao Shi  No. 21) recently issued by the Ministry of Education (MOE), the project “The Systematic Construction of a National Credit Bank System for Vocational Education” led by vice president Li Linshu of the Open University of China (OUC) won first prize at the National Teaching Achievement Awards for Vocational Education, a historical breakthrough for the OUC.
The National Teaching Achievement Awards are the only national awards in the field of education in China. As one of the four major national awards on par with China's State Natural Science Award, National Technology Invention Awards, and National Science and Technology Progress Award, it represents the highest level of education and teaching work in China. Awards are given every four years in the three major categories of basic education, vocational education, and higher education and include two special prizes, 50 first prizes, and 400 second prizes in each category. The National Teaching Achievement Award for Vocational Education represents the highest level of China’s vocational education. Its core indexes are the talent cultivation level and reform and innovation achievements in education and teaching at each school.
Since 2012, the OUC has stepped up its efforts to promote credit bank construction and has made achievements in both theoretical research and practical exploration with the aim of building a lifelong education system and a learning society, and to meet the goal of building the “bridge” for lifelong learning proposed in the national education plan.
The teaching achievements of “The Systematic Construction of a National Credit Bank System for Vocational Education” are the results of years of credit bank construction. Beginning from the requirements of the strategic decision to build a modern vocational education system and focusing on solving the problems arising from the integration of vocational education and other types of education, in the connection of standards in education and teaching, and in the accreditation, accumulation, and transfer of various learning outcomes of students in vocational colleges, it proposes a system mode, technical pathway, tool methodology, and application model for a national credit bank for vocational education that is specific to China’s conditions. In practice, it has had a great social impact with remarkable achievements made and has played an important role in supporting and promoting the construction of a modern vocational education and training system in China.
The award represents the recognition of the OUC’s education and teaching reform by the nation and society, and will serve as encouragement for the future. The university will continue to deepen education and teaching reform, explore and grasp the law for educational development, accelerate reform in key fields and crucial links, and make further contributions to serving social and economic development and the cultivation of high-quality technical and skilled personnel.
Attachment: Introduction to the Achievements of “The Systematic Construction of a National Credit Bank System for Vocational Education”
The 2018 National Teaching Achievement Awards for Vocational Education
The Systematic Construction of a National Credit Bank System for Vocational Education
The achievements aim to build a learning system for lifelong education and a learning society and to meet the target of setting up the lifelong learning “bridge” proposed in the national education plan. Based on the requirements of the strategic decision to build a modern vocational education system and focused on the resolution of problems such as the integration of vocational education with various other types of education, the connection of the standards of education, teaching, and profession, and the accreditation, accumulation, and transfer of various learning outcomes of students in vocational colleges, the achievements are part of the systematic construction of the national credit bank system and its confirmatory practice in vocational education in China under the guidance of a team of experts led by Zhou Yuanqing. The achievements are built on one project approved and authorised by the Ministry of Education (“The Research and Implementation of a National System for the Accreditation, Accumulation, and Transfer of Continuing Education Learning Outcomes,”), two pilot projects ("Pilot Project for the Accreditation, Accumulation, and Transfer of Continuing Education Learning Outcomes," and “Pilot Projects for the Accreditation, Accumulation and Transfer of Tertiary Vocational Education Learning Outcomes”), and 140 scientific research and practice projects.
In order to ensure the smooth implementation of the project, the university has invested more than RMB 30 million, which has led to nearly RMB 100 million accumulatively input by various industries, organisations, and other units. Multi-level and multi-dimensional research and practice has been carried out around the national credit bank system of vocational education. More than 140 industries, enterprises, vocational colleges, regular colleges and universities, open universities, radio and TV universities, and training institutions have been successively organised, involving around 2,000 people.
Over the last five years, rafts of remarkable achievements have been made in the project. Firstly, relevant experiences from over 150 countries have been summarised and focused comparative research has been conducted into 15 representative countries and regions. The system model and technical path guided by the framework of learning results have been shaped using a combination of international experience based on China’s national conditions from the demands of the main body, which has provided a basic framework for the construction of the national credit bank. Secondly, unified credible level criteria have been established as a reference for various kinds of learning outcomes at all levels and the first domestic framework of learning results have been developed, which has laid a foundation for the establishment of the national qualification framework. Thirdly, a complete institutional framework and systematic solution have been formed for the credit bank for vocational education around the system core, operation, and guarantee of the credit bank for vocational education. Lastly, a series of tools and methods with independent intellectual property rights have been developed, including a method of developing learning achievement certification units and a credit bank information platform to support hundreds of millions of learners. Major breakthroughs have been made at key points in the construction of the credit bank system in vocational education. The above achievements have been proven to be effective in the pilot application at more than 140 institutions.
Based on solid research and work, the achievements have been piloted and synergised across more than 40 majors in open universities and higher vocational colleges. Seventy sub-centres for learning achievement certification have been established nationwide, covering 20 industries in 31 provinces. A Mutual Recognition Alliance for Learning Outcomes consisting of 30 institutions has been founded and credit bank accounts have been established for nearly five million learners. The application and practice of learning outcomes at various levels in vocational education and other different types of education have set up a bridge for talents to grow, and have made significant contributions to advancing the construction of a modern vocational education system.
By Wang Lina, OUC